PKCθ Regulates T-Cell Leukemia-Initiating Activity via Reactive Oxygen Species

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PKCθ Regulates T-Cell Leukemia-Initiating Activity via Reactive Oxygen Species

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Title: PKCθ Regulates T-Cell Leukemia-Initiating Activity via Reactive Oxygen Species
Author: Giambra, Vincenzo; Jenkins, Christopher R.; Wang, Hongfang; Lam, Sonya H.; Shevchuk, Olena O.; Nemirovsky, Oksana; Wai, Carol; Gusscott, Sam; Chiang, Mark Y.; Aster, Jon C.; Humphries, R. Keith; Eaves, Connie; Weng, Andrew P.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Giambra, V., C. R. Jenkins, H. Wang, S. H. Lam, O. O. Shevchuk, O. Nemirovsky, C. Wai, et al. 2013. “PKCθ Regulates T-Cell Leukemia-Initiating Activity via Reactive Oxygen Species.” Nature medicine 18 (11): 1693-1698. doi:10.1038/nm.2960.
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Abstract: Reactive oxygen species (ROS), a by-product of cellular metabolism, damage intracellular macromolecules and, in excess, can promote normal hematopoietic stem cell differentiation and exhaustion1–3. However, mechanisms that regulate ROS levels in leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) and the biological role of ROS in these cells remain largely unknown. We show here the ROSlow subset of CD44+ cells in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), a malignancy of immature T-cell progenitors, to be highly enriched in the most aggressive LICs, and that ROS are maintained at low levels by downregulation of protein kinase C theta (PKCθ). Strikingly, primary mouse T-ALLs lacking PKCθ show improved LIC activity whereas enforced PKCθ expression in both mouse and human primary T-ALLs compromised LIC activity. We also demonstrate that PKCθ is positively regulated by RUNX1, and that NOTCH1, which is frequently activated by mutation in T-ALL4–6 and required for LIC activity in both mouse and human models7,8, downregulates PKCθ and ROS via a novel pathway involving induction of RUNX3 and subsequent repression of RUNX1. These results reveal key functional roles for PKCθ and ROS in T-ALL and suggest that aggressive biological behavior in vivo could be limited by therapeutic strategies that promote PKCθ expression/activity or ROS accumulation.
Published Version: doi:10.1038/nm.2960
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